Showing posts with label tenjin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tenjin. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Yasaka Shrine Arita


Yasaka Shrine in Arita is almost certainly much older than the most popular shrine in the town, Tozan Shrine.

According to the shrine's information board, appropriately written upon porcelain tiles, it says that originally the shrine was for the local kami.

However, it changed with the importation of the Gion ritual, here said to be of Indian origin.

Mention is made of Gozu Tenno and then Susano, to whom is attributed the creation  of the chinowa.

It changed names to Yasaka after Meiji when all the semi-Buddhist Gion shrines firmly became Shinto.

There is a small Tenjin shrine in the grounds, another of the kami associated with protection from pestilence and disease.

There were multiple pairs of komainu, with the oldest pair made of sandstone severely weathered..

The previous post in this series exploring Arita on day 70 of my Kyushu pilgrimage was on the nearby Kyushu Ceramics Museum.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Wakaura Tenmangu Shrine


The steps up to Wakaura Tenmangu Shrine are steep and rough, but not as long as the stairs up to the neighboring Kishu Toshogu Shrine.

Wakaura Tenmangu is older than the Toshogu by about 7 centuries, although the Tenmangu was rebuilt about ten years before the Toshogu was built in the 17th century.

Enshrining Tenjin, the deified form of Sugawara Michizane, known as a god of poetry and scholarship, Tenmangu shrines are where students head to before taking exams.

It is said that Michizane himself was here in 901 when the ship taking hime to "exile" in Dazaifu dropped anchor here to await favorable winds. He is said to have composed two poems here.

Wakaura, or Wakanoura, literally means Bay of Poetry, and Michizane was adding to a long list of poems composed in the area since ancient times.

It is said that Naoki Tachibana stopped here on his return from Daizaifu, where Michizane's grave was, sometime between 964 and 968, and established the shrine.

The shrine was destroyed in 1585 during the invasion of the area by Hideyoshi. It was rebuilt in 1604 by Yukinaga Asano and employed the leading craftsmen of the day.

The painted carvings of animals around the eaves of the main building are particularly noteworthy. There are several sub-shrines within the grounds, and great views from the shrine over Waknoura.

The previous post in this series on attractions of Wakayama City was the neighbouring Kishu Toshogu Shrine.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Nakayama Shrine


It is said that the torii at Nakayama Shrine is unique. At the time of my visit i didn't notice, but now I can see it.

An Ox statue usually signifies Tenjin, the deified spirit of Sugawara Michizane, and he is not one of the main kami enshrined here, but there must be a secondary Tenjin shrine.

Nakayama Shrine is located north of Tsuyama in the area of Ichinomiya, so named because the shrine was the ichinomiya, highest-ranked shrine, in Mimasaka Province.

The Shinmon gate was relocated here from Tsuyama Castle when the castle was dismantled in the early Meiji Period.

Nakayama Shrine was founded in 707. For much of its history it was known as Chuzen Shrine.

The three main kami enshrined are Kagamitsukuri no kami, Ame no nukado no kami, and Ishikori-dome no mikoto, with the first and third of these being associated wit mirrors. In the meiji period the names were changed but then changed back after 1946.

The shrine was destroyed by the Amago Clan in 1533 when they invaded and took over the territory.

Amago Haruhisa rebuilt the shrine in 1559.

The main buildings date from this time and are considered to be nakayama-zukuri, a style unique to the immediate vicinity.

The previous post was Tsuyama Snapshots, photos taken on my way to the shrine.

A large sacred keyaki tree, zelkova in English, is said to be 800 years old. It has a trunk diameter of 8 meters.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Nomiyama Kannonji Temple 16 Sasaguri Pilgrimage


Nomiyama Kannonji is one of the biggest and also one of the highest of the 88 temples on the Sasaguri pilgrimage in Fukuoka. The temples are scattered in the mountains on either side of the valley through which runs the main road, Route 201, and the JR Fukuhokuyutaka Line.

The biggest temple is probably Nanzoin, home of the largest reclining Buddha, and the highest temple is the okunoin on top of Mount Wakasugi. Nomiyama Kannoji is at about 450 meters above sea level, but is the temple furthest away from the bottom of the valley.

It has several sub-temples and is served by a massive car park, so obviously many people venture up here with the temple website claiming about a million visitors a year.

The honzon is, not surprisingly considering the temple name, a Senju Kannon, a "thousand-armed" Kannon. It is hidden from view except for one day a year, on October 3rd, one of three major festivals held every year. photo number 2 above is a Senju Kannon in the Hundred Kannon Hall.

There is also an Amida Hall, pictured above.

There are several shrines within the grounds, an Inari, pictured above, and a Tenjin and an Awashima.

As well as within the different halls, there are numerous statues of many different Buddhas and Bodhisattvas scattered around the grounds. In fact, one of the main features of the pilgrimage is the sheer number of statues on display. We arrived here in the early afternoon of our first day walking the pilgrimage, and we had seen hundreds and hundreds of very diverse statues.

The previous post in the series is Mizuko Temple Monju-in. Next, I will post pics of the Fudo Myo statues from Kannonji.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Path of Light at KitanoTenmangu Kurume


A long, straight road leads to the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine near Kurume, and is known as the "path of light" as in mid-March and mid-October the sun sets at the end of the road. This is obviously close to the equinoxes.....

The shrine was established in 1054 as a branch of the Kitano Tenmangu in Kyoto, the original shrine deifying the angry ghost of Michizane Sugawara.

A giant Camphor tree in the grounds is said to be over a thousand years old.

Most striking is that the impressive gatehouse is painted red. Yesterday I posted on some of the guardians here.

The area is well known for Kappa and there is s story of a kappa and Michizane. The mummified hand of the kappa is shown to the public once a year.

Tenmangu shrines are very popular with students praying for success with exams, but are also known for calligraphy.

There are often statues of an Ox at Tenmangu shrines as it became a symbol after an ox carrying the corpse of Sugawara Michizane stopped and refused to move further and so that was the spot he was buried, now Dazaifu Tenmangu a little further north in Fukuoka.

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Mizuta Tenmangu

Mizuta Tenmangu

A few miles north of the Geibunkan is the small town of Mizuta and the main shrines is a Tenmangu with this unusual Torii.

It was founded in 1226 as a branch of Dazaifu Tenmangu, the burial place of Sugawara Michizane north of here. Dazaifu was the "capital" of Kyushu. Suguwara Michizane was a high-ranking courtier in Kyoto who was "exiled" to Dazaifu by his rivals at court.

He died shortly afterwards and his enemies began to die off and so it was believed that Michizane was operating as an "angry ghost", a very important component of Japanese beliefs. To appease his spirit he was posthumously promoted and also enshrined as Tenjin in Kitano Tenmangu shrine in Kyoto.

Tenjin is now considered a kind of patron saint of education and students will pray at Tenmangu shrines for success with exams and such.

The current main hall of the shrine was a reconstruction built in the early 17th century. It is said that Mizuta Tenmangu is the second-largest Tenmangu shrine in Kyushu after Dazaifu tenmangu.

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